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Old 03-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #16
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Wow, y'all! I'm a little pressed for time right now but I'll be back later to answer up. Y'all are awesome!
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #17
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I have been looking into NLP (Nero Linguistic Programming)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx90tnJ0IIE

I had an instructor tell me once that through ruminating, you create pathways in your brain that make it all the easier to have those negative thoughts. Similar to the way an anxious dog will run the same path in a backyard...over and over and over again.

If you disrupt these pathways and create new ones- you can decrease the ruminations.

So I've been working with guided meditation such as these ones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhTSaNwnip8
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #18
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I agree with the last two posts above about reprogramming (not a great word, but you know what I mean I hope) with the use of positive thinking, meditating, and/or prayer. I am very spiritual, I meditate and I am a firm believer in the power of our minds, but sometimes I guess I get lazy and let these negative scripts creep back in. This has been a great thread that has really given me a lot to think about today.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #19
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Skellig19 and Robin41, thank you for sharing your experiences! While it really sucks to have a mental disorder like this, it is helpful to know that I'm not alone.

amandie and Silver Sky I didn't know it had a name either until I went out to lunch with a friend of mine. I was describing my experiences and she said, "Honey, that's called ruminating." When I got home from lunch, I looked it up and went, "Wow, that's it!" I wish now that when I was in therapy for GAD that I had talked about ruminating but at the time, I was so focused on stopping those panic attacks that everything else going on seemed minor.

Almost Me I'm going to check out that tapping technique. Thank you for providing the information.

Lock It Up I'm glad you're having success in therapy! I'm seriously considering going back to therapy myself. It has been over 20 years since I tried it last and I have to remember that my good experiences outweighed my bad experiences. The trick is to find a good and qualified therapist.

HungryHungryHippo OK, first, I love your screen name! I've always had an affinity for hippos. What you say about keeping busy is true. I think that's why this stuff happens at night when I'm trying to go to sleep. My brain goes, "Now I gotcha! BWA HA HA HA HA!"

novangel I really like the term "head gigs." I hear you about SSRI's. From the research I've done on them, I don't think they'd be all that helpful for me. My main issues are related to anxiety, not depression. I also find some of their side effects more than a bit off-putting. The Xanax I take now seems to be doing the trick. I don't take it at all during the day. I only take it at night and not every night, I only take it at nights when the head gigs are going on. Last week, I only took one. That was down from 3 the week before.

Ellemphriem Thank you. *hugs* I've still got Thunderstruck in my head but that's OK...I like the song so I can relate to you not wanting your ear worm to go away just quite yet.

shcirerf You made me laugh! Ruminating is indeed a bit like chewing cud over and over and over and over....

MozzyHugs back atcha!

forkeeps I do that too with the low gas indicator! I have to get gas ASAP or my lizard brains starts bouncing off my skull bones screaming, "We're gonna run out of gas!!!!" As for the binge drinking, yeah, I hear you. I quit drinking 3 weeks ago. I was getting faced every Friday and Saturday night. I'm not going to get healthy, either physically or emotionally, drinking like that.

surfergirl2 I could definitely use some of those positive thinking skills. I've had a lot of success at this weight loss effort. If only I could focus on that!

lunarsongbird Thank you for the information about NLP. I'm definitely going to check it out. It sounds promising.


forkeeps I've done some positively focused meditation in the past and I really did find it helpful. I think maybe I need to dig out my old books and have another go at it. It was hard at first to get my mind to stop chattering and nattering but after a few weeks I got pretty good at it. I can't even recall why I stopped.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:42 AM   #20
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A friend of mine just sent me this article. 10 Best Ways to Manage Your Anxiety It's a really long article but well worth the read, IMO. It starts with talking about panic attacks and then moves on to rumination. This part particularly nailed what I go through at night:

Quote:
Cluster Three: The Mental Anguish of Rumination
The final methods are those that deal with the difficult problem of a brain that won't stop thinking about distressing thoughts. Worries predominate in social phobia, GAD, and other kinds of anxiety, and continual rumination can create nausea and tension, destroying every good thing in life. A metaphor drawn from nature for this kind of worry would be kudzu, the nearly unkillable plant that proliferates wildly, suffocating every other form of life, just as continual worry suffocates clients' mental and emotional lives.
Again, my problem mostly occurs when I'm trying to go to sleep at night and at this point, it's not debilitating but it is bothersome and has led to more than a few sleepless nights. The article goes on with some methodologies to deal with rumination. I think there is some good advice in that article.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:26 PM   #21
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While I'm so sorry you've had to go through so much, it's wonderful you're brave enough to share your story and I'm so very thankful that you've posted all this information.

Until the last few years, I didn't realize nor recognize that I've had anxiety issues all of my life. What I did know what that I had irrational, unexplainable, unpredictable bouts of freezing up and sobbing uncontrollably. Some strange, seemingly random issues as well, like being unable to answer the phone (what if it's bad news?) or even being unable to make a call to pay a bill or even to visit with a family member. It was like I was spending 90% of my life running around as an emotional time bomb with a chronic case of stage fright.

I wish someone had pulled me aside as a kid or young adult and told me I had anxiety issues, not that I was a pathetic crybaby. I always believed the latter and felt ashamed I couldn't control myself. And thus I'd pour over every bad event and mistake made in my life over and over again, wishing things could have been different, wishing I didn't feel like so much was beyond my control, and not understanding that the patterns were breakable.

I was molested throughout my childhood by my grandfather and carried the shame of that for years, not realizing that I was the victim. My middle brother and cousin were killed in a car accident as teenagers, when I was still in junior high. I became severely asthmatic and gained a lot of weight as a preteen. My mom always blamed the asthma meds on that, but looking back there was a lot more going on. I literally didn't have one single friend throughout junior high and cried myself to sleep every night. I know that's when I really started eating, possibly to relieve all the growing anxieties I was facing. And I spent a lot of time longing for the "good old days" when I was only 12 years old!

I was an older teenager when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and I moved moved out of state to be with her mother for treatments, and I was her primary caretaker as she was dying. I stopped functioning altogether for about a year after we lost her. I eventually started working, but my anxieties often got in the way and I definitely lost jobs because of it. I'd compare the feeling to clinging to a buoy out in the middle of the sea, unable to swim and unable to see land. I constantly felt lost, overwhelmed, and scared, clinging desperately to the familiar in fear of drowning in the unknown.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression, but for some reason my anxieties never came up. I went to therapy for several months, until I couldn't afford it anymore because my anxieties were too severe to fill out the paperwork for the sliding discount. Oh, the irony.

I eventually got wrapped up in a relationship (my very first one ever at age 25) and moved out of state with the guy, but that ended up being emotionally abusive. It already felt my life was crumbling around me when my dad died . . . I was smoking how many packs a day and was binge drinking (unbeknownst to outsiders), plus I had eaten my way up to 360 pounds (the one thing I couldn't hide). I only had one immediate family member left (my oldest brother) and after he attacked me with some horrid accusations during the planning of our dad's funeral arrangements I felt completely disowned. I felt abandoned, trapped, fat, worthless, ugly, and unable to do anything about it all.

There's much more but you get the idea. Things turned around though! I'm in a stable, loving relationship right now with my husband, but moving to yet another new area and adapting to so many changes had taken its toll on me (we'd met online). I'd always loved to drive but became fearful of it; I was unable to go out, to work, to make friends. I've had to very slowly expand my comfort zone and am still in the process. One of my biggest steps to getting better both physically and emotionally was joining a local TOPS chapter, which was very difficult in the beginning; sometimes I'd drive all the way over but would be unable to force myself out of my car and attend because my anxieties had frozen me. But it was my first major step back into getting social and having some sort of sense of independence again. I was eventually linked to an article about agoraphobia and immediately recognized my experiences within, and later I started reading about generalized anxieties. I've never been officially diagnosed but it all makes sense and was such a relief to finally have a basic idea of what was wrong. I hit a breakthrough last year when I started taking B vitamins in hopes of gaining more energy for my weight loss efforts, and instead found that it eased my anxieties! I did some reading on that and found that it can help with the nervous system. Not exactly a cure, but it's been a major boost for me and it's something that may be worth a try for you if you haven't already.

I think the healthier eating worsened my anxieties for a while, because I was no longer allowing myself to fall back on food in order to distract them away (I've already long given up the drinking and smoking, thankfully). I still have days where I want to eat and eat and eat, but I refuse to let myself. I think keeping the food journal has helped me put the brakes on that, and perhaps the physical act of writing in it has become sort of a substitute. At the very least, it helps me feel in control. I've made so much progress in the past few years (I can drive again, yay!) but still have a lot of room for improvement.

I'd never known about the ruminating and I'm so thankful to read about it now; I definitely recognize it and will take the time to work on healthier patterns that should help me live better in the present. I think I got a glimpse of those issues late last year; it's long and complicated but I was getting in contact with my brother's kids again through facebook (we used to be quite close until my Dad died and my brother freaked out on me). When their mom (my brother's ex) caught wind of me trying to sort out some family legal issues that would not be in her benefit, they (as in the kids) all unfriended me. I was heartbroken when none of them would return my messages. I still visited their pages frequently to see any new photographs they'd post, and I pretty much lost it when I found out the oldest was pregnant and realized the reason I was never told was because I'm simply not a part of their lives anymore. I was telling a friend about how painful it all was, and she told me I simply need to stop visiting those pages because all I'm doing is torturing myself. And something clicked there, because I do that with nearly everything in my life, revisiting the painful things only to wallow in it rather than learn from it. I think reading more about ruminating will help me understand these bad patterns and why they need to be broken, because I do have all sorts of negative, what-if thoughts incessantly running through my head, making daily life much more difficult than it needs to be . . . we simply need to stop torturing ourselves over things that are beyond our control and instead focus on the things that we can control: what we can improve upon and what we already have to be thankful for.

Once again, thank you so much for posting all of this, it's given me a lot to consider and I believe I now have more tools to reshape my life for the better. It sounds like you do as well! Take care and good luck to you!
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:37 PM   #22
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Elladorine thank you for sharing your experiences. Your post was brave, thoughtful and moving. I can relate to so many of the things that you said. We are both going to make it through all this argle bargle and come out the other end healthier both physically and emotionally.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #23
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shcirerf .............. I also thought this post was going to be about certain farm animals!

I have an anxiety disorder. Tried meds, didn't like them at the time but might have to try again as my life has gotten considerably more complicated to deal with these last few weeks. I will most likely end up in therapy again, can't keep the past as the past.

I also get thoughts or songs stuck in my head, but thankfully the songs tend to only stick around for a few days to 2 weeks tops (Whiskey Lullaby being the latest, with Better Dig Two before that) but the thoughts lately are keeping me awake. Had insomnia in high school and I am getting to that point again.

I was able to keep myself in check by taking St. Johns wort for awhile, but that is just when my depression is mild and the anxiety. Doesn't help for full blown depression. My coping skills are lacking.
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